Friday, 21 June 2002

June 21, 2002 Chautauqua



From the Editor's Computer

   Ask someone how they are and generally the response is, “Busy!”  Often, you don’t even have to ask…the information is volunteered.  People complain about being busy, lament about being busy, get sick (and some have died) because they’re too busy, brag about being busy, define their lives by the degree of their busyness, compete with each other to see who is busier, and avoid life by being busy.  Busyness is an epidemic which is out of control.

   In my life, during the course of a year, I…work at the Library two days a week, work on the newspaper (where I am owner, go-fer, and all other staff, including writer!), work on my Masters degree program courses (involving lots of studying, assignments, research, email discussions with the ‘class,’ and exams), attend yoga class weekly, teach a dance lesson weekly, read copious amounts (for work, school and, more importantly, for fun!), usually get seven hours of sleep, eat three meals a day (plus lots of snacking), attend Church weekly, visit friends and chat with people I see when I’m out and about, deal with horrendous amounts of paperwork, spend time with family, run errands (for myself and others), play on the computer, complete typing projects, work at the ongoing task of organizing my work and home space, have a dedicated bible study and prayer time, listen to music, answer phone calls and email...

   Am I busy?  In addition to the above, I also…attend meetings and workshops, correspond (via handwritten letters) with friends, watch a T.V. program or movie (seldom), go for walks, work on various handicraft projects, houseclean (rarely!), attend public functions and community activities (some of which I also have to organize), watch the sunrise, go for a massage once in a blue moon, complete the odd ‘someday’ project, meet new people, housesit, watch the sun set, eat out occasionally, help with the Girl Guide movement, surf the Internet...

   Am I busy?  I don’t think so, though I have the odd moment when I’ve felt quite overwhelmed and questioned my sanity.  I have lots of time for solitude when I can breathe and relax while contemplating life, or better yet, do absolutely nothing!  While there are many activities I could be taking part in, I choose not to because then I would be too busy, causing other areas of my life to suffer as a result.  I have found a way to balance my life and accomplish what needs to be done.

   Busyness is a matter of choice.  If you are too busy it is because you have chosen to be.  Busyness is not something that just happens to you, it is a conscious choice, and therefore can consciously be changed at any time.  Call me hard-hearted, but I don’t feel sympathetic when someone laments to me about how they are so busy that they can’t participate in, let alone enjoy life.  I do feel sorry for them, they are missing out on the true essence of life.  Are you busy?

Beth

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To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.

Friday, 7 June 2002

June 7, 2002 Chautauqua



From the Editor's Computer

   It will soon be Father’s Day, and I would like to share with you some of my childhood (and adult) memories of my Dad.

   I can remember being a preschooler and  playing with my dad.  Okay...I played while he laid down on the couch.  This put him at the perfect height for me to use his head as my playing area.  My dad always had a brush cut, making the crown of his head (especially  right after a haircut!) the perfect lush ‘field’ to ‘graze’ my toy cows or ‘gallop’ my toy horses across.  Looking back now, I can only say that he was infinitely patient with me and could obviously tolerate a lot of pain!  Take a moment to imagine a hard plastic horse, in the hands of a preschooler, ‘galloping’ across the crown of your head. 

   Dad would also spend lots of time driving dinky cars around a track approximately 2 feet by 1 foot with me.  Around and around...and around and around...For variety, we would sometimes prop the track up slightly, thus creating an incline to race our cars down.  If done correctly, the cars would continue across the floor as we didn’t have carpet!

   Often when Dad was working outside in the yard or garden, I would ‘help’ him with my own set of miniature garden tools, imitating his actions, or I’d be stirring up a large batch of mud pies in his wheel barrow.

   When I got older, my Dad taught me to ride a bike - another occasion when his infinite patience was evident!  It was Dad who took me out and about the countryside to practice my driving.  He even accompanied me to the dealership when I bought my car. 

   Dad was also able to share with me some of the major accomplishments in my adult life.  He attended my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award ceremony where I got to shake hands with Prince Philip.  Though we didn’t actually see it, friends told us that Dad was shown in the background while I was receiving my award from the Prince - on the news clip shown on Canada AM!  Despite major health problems, Dad was attended my convocation ceremony and watched me receive my B.A. in Athabasca last year.

   Dad...I would like to say THANK YOU for your support and encouragement throughout  the years.  I LOVE YOU!

   Any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a DAD!

   Happy Father’s Day to All the Fathers!

Beth

Click here to read the complete issue of The Chautauqua.

To contact The Chautauqua, email: thechautauqua@gmail.com.